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10 Best Things To See In Austin During SXSW

As Ferris Bueller once said: “You’re still here?”

Mr. Bueller (and his day off) aside, if you’re still in Austin for South-by-Southwest, then you, my friend, are what we call a DIE-HARD.

And you know what? WE LOVE YOU.

Anyone who can keep pace with a couple hundred thousand people, a staggering number of parties, more tech info than most human brains could possibly hold, not to mention a wealth of tacos, brisket, beer, margaritas, and all the gingerbread pancakes at Magnolia Cafe … well, anyone who can do that is our kinda people.

So now that SXSW is winding down, it’s the perfect time to take in some of our town’s non-edible magnificence (and there’s a LOT of it, so hitch up your gitalong and get ready to go!)

Are you ready? Let’s check out (drumroll, please) THE TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE IN AUSTIN DURING SXSW!

  1. Our State House. Why? Because it’s gorgeous. But if that isn’t reason enough for you, this completely breathtakingly beautiful building isn’t just the seat of Texas’ government, it’s the biggest house of government in all the land! That’s right, it’s a cool 7’ taller than the U.S. Capitol Building in DC. See it. Marvel at it. Love it.
  2. Get down on 6th Street. Honey, you haven’t lived til you’ve hung out for a night or two on 6th Street. On 7 little blocks between Congress and IH 35, 6th Street is Austin’s entertainment HUB and home to some of the best live music you’ll ever see. It’s also home to some of the best people watching on earth (reason enough to go there).
  3. Zilker Park. Zilker Park is the GOAT. For those of you playing along at home, that’s the GREATEST OF ALL TIME. This 347-acre park is one of the things that makes Austin truly great. It’s home to art museums and some of our best swimming holes, and it’s the best place on earth for a kick-butt game of tag. BONUS! While you’re at Zilker Park, you get to check out the sublime beauty that is Umlaut Sculpture Garden & Museum and Zilker Botanical Gardens. Niiiiiiiice.
  4. Barton Springs Pool. Yeah, we know it’s only March. What of it? Barton Springs’ water of perfection is a glorious 68 degrees year-round. So, you can swim year-round. That’s right. All year. Fed by springs from the wondrous Edwards Aquifer, Barton Springs is, “ahhhhh” come to life.
  5. The Bullock Museum. Named for our former Lieutenant Governor, this museum is unlike any other you’ve visited, we promise you. Focusing on land, identity, and diversity, the Bullock IS Texas. It’s home to our history, our stories, and everything that makes our state the best place on earth to live.
  6. Mount Bonnell. That’s right, get on your feet. It’s 102 (ish) steps to the top of Mt. Bonnell, and each and every one of them is worth it. The views you’ll get once you’re up there are so beautiful that they cannot be described with plain old words (even though we like words very much). There are some things that you just have to see for yourself. This is one of them.
  7. Mexic-Arte Museum. This place, folks, is special. Seriously. Founded in 1984 by artists Sylvia Orozco, Sam Coronado, and Pio Pulido in the Arts Warehouse, the museum presents art by the finest established and emerging artists from the United States, Mexico and Latin America. It’s beautiful, it’s educational, it’s awesome. Go.
  8. Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Flowers, y’all. We’ve got ‘em. The Center, founded by First Lady Ladybird Johnson and stage siren Helen Hayes, the Wildflower Center is home to more than 7,200 species of plants. One of the greatest things about this place is that it helps protect and restore plants that are on the verge of extinction. It’s a beautiful, wondrous place that you should see before you die. Or, you know, this week.
  9. Blanton Museum of Art. We sure do have a lot of museums here. So much for a lack of culture. Yeah. Eat your heart out NYC. The Blanton Museum, housed at UT-Austin, is one of the foremost art museums in the country and its collection is home to more than 17,000 works of art. It’s also home to the Harry Ransom Center, which houses documents from some of the world’s greatest thinkers.
  10. LBJ Library & Museum. Presidential library? Some of you might be thinking, “YAWNNNNN.” But you’d be wrong. In the case of LBJ, it’s anything but. This place has all the artifacts and such that you’d expect, but also has a bunch of interesting  exhibits that are just as rad as the president himself. From holiday cards to photographs chronicling the Civil Rights era and even an LBJ robot, this museum is anything but a snooze-fest.

By the time you make it through this list of awesome, SXSW really will be over and you’ll have to board a plane and go back to someplace that’s doubtless much less interesting (though home is always good). Take just a few minutes for one last stop at Spiderhouse Cafe and then you can be on your way.

Thanks for visiting our town; we can’t wait to have you back. For those of you who haven’t been yet, there’s no reason you can’t do all the stuff we’ve outlined during South-By at anytime of the year.

So c’mon down. Pay Austin & Urban Provision a visit. You’ll be glad you did.